Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at https://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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It’s Finally Time To Stop Correcting People’s Grammar, Linguist Says

It’s Finally Time To Stop Correcting People’s Grammar, Linguist Says | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Language -- which all human societies have in immense grammatical complexity -- is far more interesting than pedantry."
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2 July 2016

Wondering to what extent this article will be applauded or roundly abhorred by the professional ELA community. 

Try this quote from the article  while wearing a blood pressure cuff...

_____
(referring to author Oliver Kamm) 

"A recovering pedant himself, he now speaks for the boldest form of descriptivism, arguing that if humans use a word outside of its traditional meaning, the new, creative use is now valid, simply by virtue of having been used at all. So, “literally” can mean “figuratively,” and “irregardless” can mean “regardless.” Adverbs — probably the mostly hotly debated part of speech — are welcome in Kamm’s world, as are split infinitives and sentences that start with “and.”
____

Is your reaction to the previous quote influenced at all by this quote, also from author Oliver Kamm...

_____
"... I think language tuition is better focused on the need to express yourself to the right audience. Linguists refer to “register” — the different styles and ranges of formality we adopt for particular audiences. That’s not all there is to effective writing and speaking but it’s not stressed enough in usage guides."
_____

The essential understanding that one's audience ought to strongly influence the level of the "properness" of one's speech and writing does seem to be fading at a disturbing rate.

Yet, simultaneously, for example, the demonization of the term "political correctness;" too often code for old fashioned sexism, racism, xenophobia, and so many other forms of adamant ignorance all too common even at  the highest levels of public discourse has become seriously worrisome.


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Go ahead, make up new words!

Go ahead, make up new words! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
In this fun, short talk from TEDYouth, lexicographer Erin McKean encourages — nay, cheerleads — her audience to create new words when the existing ones won’t quite do. She lists out 6 ways to make new words in English, from compounding to “verbing,” in order to make language better at expressing what we mean, and to create more ways for us to understand one another.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
16 April 2016

A charming, sometimes hilarious, and thought provoking short talk about the way new words develop. Interesting breakdown of different categories of ways new words are created.

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit
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19 Jokes Only Grammar Nerds Will Understand

Q: What do you say when you are comforting a grammar nazi?

 

A: There, their, they're!

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

WARNING: I doubt that you'll want to share these with your students... ...but know you'll enjoy a few of them. Particularly those that require a second look.  ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~"Google Lit Trips" is the official business name of GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit  

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Marika Charalambous's curator insight, September 8, 2013 3:18 AM

LOL this is hilarious (and so true!)

Sarah Busse's curator insight, September 28, 2014 7:22 PM

Fun with Grammar!

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10 Obscure Punctuation Marks That Should Really Get More Play

10 Obscure Punctuation Marks That Should Really Get More Play | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Recently, we were apprised of a proposed addition to the world of punctuation: the "ElRey Mark," a symbol that looks a bit like an exclamation point with a dot at each end and is meant to be read a...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Whether or not they would actually be useful in written communication, the potential for class discussions encouraging engaged and creative out-of-the-box contemplation regarding mechanics, usage, and grammar rules is high.

 

It might even stimulate a new appreciation for the much more commonly used punctuation marks and their use and abuse. 

 

I'd also suggest that rather than relying upon traditional grammar texts'  too often nearly "useless usage explanations" that too often define one unknown term using three more unknown terms as though that encourages kids, while ignoring the annoying factor of having done so, that the real world sounding explanations for these punctuation marks might prove to be better models for palatable explanations.

 

hmmm... which one of those punctuation marks was described as being for people who like to write crazy-long sentences like the previous one?!

 

See this cool related article including a few of these as well as a few interesting lesser known punctuation marks not in this article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/13-punctuation-marks-that-you-never-knew-existed

 

(though I must admit, the "Section Sign" might generate questionable contemplation of literary devices such as "double entrendes" and "puns.")

 

 

 

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The nit-picking glory of The New Yorker's Comma Queen

The nit-picking glory of The New Yorker's Comma Queen | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"Copy editing for The New Yorker is like playing shortstop for a Major League Baseball team -- every little movement gets picked over by the critics," says Mary Norris, who has played the position for more than thirty years. In that time, she's gotten a reputation for sternness and for being a "comma maniac," but this is unfounded, she says. Above all, her work is aimed at one thing: making authors look good. Explore The New Yorker's distinctive style with the person who knows it best in this charming talk.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
16 April 2016

I found this Ted Talk by a copy editor for the New Yorker fascinating on a number of accounts. 

1. She does not take herself too seriously (whew!)
2. She takes her job incredibly seriously (love that too!)
3. She makes it clear that even the best writers may not be experts at grammar and/or usage.
4. There is room for differences of opinions regarding best grammar and/or usage

And, all of this from a copy editor for the New Yorker; certainly a publication with impressive "creds!"

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27 Signs It's DEFINITELY Time To Go Back To School

27 Signs It's DEFINITELY Time To Go Back To School | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
If you come across any of these while dropping your kids off at school, just keep driving.

In addition to some hilariously questionable phrasing, these signs indicate that it's time for some serious spelling and grammar lessons -- not to mention a...
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

5 September 2014

 

Ah! Nothing like promoting high standards!

 

At least they did not profess to be "COMMITED to RAZING the standards."

 

Yes there are several more cringe-worthy examples.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED an educational nonprofit

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7 Sentences that Sound Crazy but are Still Grammatical

7 Sentences that Sound Crazy but are Still Grammatical | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
This Grammar Day, let's not look at grammar as a cold, harsh mistress. She can also be a fun, kooky aunt. Here are some tricks you can do to make crazy sounding sentences that are still grammatical.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

You may find this amusing or of potential value as a piece of "informational reading" for your students.

 

WARNING: This may even challenge the pride that even the most serious grammar police might take in their expertise.

 

 

I have to admit that I have not been a big fan of most traditional approaches to dealing with the issues that grammar targets. The complicated vocabulary of grammar just amplified my annoyance regarding what I perceived in my disinterested early youth as completely unengaging complex explanations that seemed to have more exceptions anyway than value, had me locking doors to any potential receptiveness to the potential value of grammar rules. Being annoyed rather than receptive was not a wise reaction, but the purpose it served in permitting my distain to guide my reaction, completely trumped any perceived value in caring about grammar.

 

Later, but not much later, a few teachers took my attitude which was actually never even impolite, as a cue to imply that I was stupid. Perhaps that wasn't their intention, but in my unsophisticated comprehension, that's how I took their "encouragement." I wasn't actually stupid; I just didn't have a perceived reason to care. 

 

My appreciation for the rules of grammar did not take a radical change until I was a senior in high school. Though like many (partially) disengaged students, by that time I had learned to hide disengagement behind a minimal effort to learn just enough to not draw attention to my disinterest. My actual sense of the value of grammar itself hadn't changed much, but my sense of the value of pretending to be engaged in order to avoid negative attention had blossomed. 

 

But, something completely unanticipated changed all that. I fell madly in like with a girl who I had come to find out had a bit of a crush on me. So Plan A became, "Try to get in as many classes with S_____ during my senior year as possible." The problem being she was "smart." Very smart. Her crush on me had nothing to do with my intellectual curiousity. It was based entirely upon the fact that she found me "kind of cute" and very funny. 

 

The bottom line was, the only class where there was any chance of being in the same class with her was English! And, she'd already distinguished herself enough to be "invited" to take what was at that time the equivalent of an Advanced Placement course.

 

So I found myself, too clueless to consider the odds, making my case to Mr. Kay, the teacher, for letting me in the class in spite of my less than stellar previous performance record. He was well-known to be a cool teacher. And, I did like to read. So when he asked me why I wanted to be in the class. I emphasized how much I loved reading and how much my junior English teacher had begun to get through to me that grammar did actually have some value worth more consideration than I'd previously given it. 

 

Then Mr. Kay asked me if I was being forthright, a word I wasn't actually quite sure I ever had come across before.

 

I responded a bit more passionately than might have been expected, "Mr. Kay I've got to get into this class. I'll do every single assignment and work harder than I've ever worked before in an English class. I promise. Really. You can kick me out if I don't."

 

And he smiled, paused a moment and quietly said, "Okay, I'll hold you to that, but I've got one more question."

 

"Anything Mr. Kay!"

 

"So what's her name?" he grinned. He knew. 

 

"S________," I replied sheepishly. "But really, I meant it when I said I'd do every assignment and work hard. I wasn't lying about that. I just want you to know that."

 

"I'm convinced you will," he replied smiling.

 

I did. S________ and I wound up dating for a couple of years. S_______ gave me so many reasons to grow up intellectually.

 

And, Mr. Kay's well-deserved reputation as a cool teacher turned out to be based upon the simple fact that he made every one of his students feel as though he cared about them personally and I was one of those kids who just couldn't allow myself to let down anyone who cared about me as a person. 

 

She and Mr. Kay sort of double teamed me and seriously, by the end of my senior year, I had set my course on becoming an English teacher just like Mr. Kay. 

 

And that's how I came to care about grammar.

 

 

 

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